Past Meetup

GO: Solar Eclipse: UK Midlands

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Details

Background

On Friday 20th March 2015, a total solar eclipse will occur across the far Northern regions of Europe and the Artic. This is an ecipse by the Moon of the Sun. The longest duration of totality for this eclipse will be 2 minutes and 46 seconds as viewed off the coast of the Faroe Islands. This will mark the last total solar eclipse in Europe for over a decade. The next not being until August 12, 2026

Last time, in 1999 UK citizens travelled to Southern Cornwall just to see it. This time you will just need to get your butt out of bed and open the front door.

And if that's what you plan to do, that's just fine, please RSVP anyway. However we have proposed a list of a few local high-points which people may be able to reach on their way to work to meet up and experience this momentous occasion together.

Technicals

Birmingham and the Midlands are set to be plunged into daytime darkness in the biggest total solar eclipse for 16 years. Around 90 per cent of sunlight will be blocked out when the moon’s orbit takes it right in front of the sun on the morning of March 20 at around 08:25 am. It will be Europe’s biggest total solar eclipse since the one in August 1999. The next will not be until 2026.

A total eclipse ( with 100 per cent of sunlight vanishing for two and a half minutes ) will be visible only from the Faroe Islands and northern Scandinavia. The rest of the UK will vary from 84 per cent coverage of the sun in London to 94 per cent in Glasgow. Birmingham and the Midlands will see a partial eclipse that blacks out just over 90 per cent of the sun when at its peak.

Locations

Members are invited to gather at:-

• Windmill Hill Summit (by the Waseley Hills Visitors Centre

• Barr Beacon Summit (Green Folly Monument)

• Adams Hill Summit (Clent Hills)

• Earl's Hill Summit (Pontesbury Hills, Shropshire)

• Drayton Bassett Country Park (S-Warwickshire)

• The Cube, Birmingham Mailbox (Surreal, if open to public)

• Hartshill Hayes Top (by reservoir, N Warws)

• Northern Entrance to the Netherton Tunnel (spooky)

• Millennium Point, Central Bimingham (Parkland Opposite)

• Your Own Home / At Work (if necessary)

Websites for Nerds

http://www.solareclipse2015.org.uk/

http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2015-march-20

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/uk-solar-eclipse-2015-birmingham-8722437?ICID=FB-Birm-main

http://astro.ukho.gov.uk/eclipse/0112015/

Hosts

There are no hosts for this meet up, just share your experience online afterwards

Timings

The weather is now expected to be overcast at the critical time which will detract from the experience to a degree.

The partial eclipse will begin in Birmingham at 8.25am as the moon appears to touch the edge of the sun.

In The Sky (https://in-the-sky.org/) calculates that at 8.30am, 3 per cent of the sun over Birmingham will be blacked out, by 8.40am that will be 14 per cent and by 8.50am it will hit 30 per cent.

At 9am, 47 per cent of sunlight will be obscured over Birmingham, rising to 65 per cent 10 minutes later, and 82 per cent by 9.20am.

The rare phenomenon will then reach its maximum at 9.30am to 9.31am as the moon is positioned right in front of the sun, blocking out 91 per cent of the sun over Brum in an amazing cosmic event that we won't get chance to witness again for more than a decade.

Depending on weather conditions, just a small sliver of sun will remain visible at the bottom, almost like a thin crescent moon turned on its side.

Then the sun will slowly be revealed again, with the event ending over Birmingham at 10.41am as the moon moves away in the other direction and continues its orbit.

Astronomers say that anyone wanting to see the eclipse must not look at the sun directly with the naked eye as it can damage your vision and even cause blindness.